Very close to the center of the small town of Sigtuna you'll find the quarters of "Malmen". There you'll see the beautiful houses and gardens of the Sigtuna locals, with envy.
Here you'll see the Swedish dream come true. Here is where the popular Swedish fairy tale figures Auntie Brown, Purple, Green and Uncle Blue were supposed to live.
In days of our visiting of Sigtuna there was very changeable weather. The rain was replaced by the sun. But in some minutes the rain went on again. The lake Melaren was tightened by clouds, but all the same a remarkable view at the lake opened from a coast.
We were walking along and saw an unusual goose. It has drawn our attention and was remembered for ever like in a photo.
The gate were kept inside of the temple in the disassembled kind till the XIVth century. Novgorod master Avraam made some more plates and collected a masterpiece of western masters anew. By the way, Avraam placed his image near to portraits of German founders Rikvin and Vismuth. Since then the Sigtunian gate decorate the western portal of the main Novgorod Cathedral.
It is remarkable, that in XVII century the Swedish king during the Sweden-Polish intervention tried to return the gate to Sweden, but his marshal Delagardi, being afraid of anger of the townspeople, left them on their place.
A copy of Sigtuna gate you can see in the Moscow Historical museum. This copy was made in the end of the XIXth and consider one of the most interesting exhibit of the museum. I came to have a look at it on sunday, October, 8 - just after I return from Sigtuna... A lot of impressions!
Produced (in the basic part) in 1152 -1154 in Magdebourg and representing some kind of a sculptural iconostasis, this gate were mounted after a supply to Novgorod not in an original form, and with infringement of a former composition. Many parts were lost by transportation and replaced by reliefs and ornaments from other monuments of the similar sort a little bit differed on style.
All these facts and many others prove that the gate were brought to Novgorod not as a result of purchase (the initial composition in this case would be carefully fixed and details would be kept as whole), but as a military extraction.
Ingigerd became a mother of Vsevolod – the Grand Duke of Kiev, Vladimir - the Duke of Novgorod, Anna - the French queen - a spouse of Henry I Capeth, Anastassia - the Hungarian queen - a spouse of the king Andrey I, Elizabeths - the Norwegian queen - a spouse of Garald Courageous. Ingigerd was a grandmother of Vladimir Monomah - Grand duke of Kiev.
A gravestone in the Sofia Novgorod Cathedral has an inscription: "Sacred, wellfare princess Anna, mother of sacred wellfare prince Vladimir Jaroslavich, the Swedish queen, the daughter of the first Swedish King Olaf, named in her ground Ingigerda who was the bride of Olaf the Norwegian King before, then a spouse of Jaroslav Vladimirovich Novgorodsky and Kievsky, died in summer 1051."
It is interesting, that princess Ingigerda from Sigtuna, a daughter of the Swedish king Olaf Shetkonung, was married to Jaroslav Mudry - the Great Kiev duke, having accepted in a christening the name Irina. She became one of the most influential women of Russia in the XIth century. Irina was canonized and esteemed as Sacred Anna Novgorodskaja.
From her childhood Ingigerd (she was born in 1001) differed from others with her beauty and high spiritual talents. She was brought up in the house of parents. Ingigerd was well educated for those times. She was able to read and write, she received necessary religious knowledge.
Ingigerd was married with Jarislafe - Russian prince Jaroslav, who was after nicknamed Mudry (Wise). From first days of her life with Jaroslav Ingigerd tried to be useful to him though frequently the young wife appeared in the epicenter of interstine struggle of Russian princes.
Jaroslav's and Ingigerd-Swedish's long-term safe matrimony created especially favorable atmosphere at a princely court yard. Never before and, alas, never after there were so many remarkable persons to the most different destinies. Exiles found shelter there. Here there Future kings and princes passed school of military valour and honour there. Princess sheltered the British king's sons Edwin and Edward in Kiev. The Swedish prince Harald and the Hungarian king's son Andrey lived there. Even former groom of Ingigerd, Olaf Sacred (Thick), having lost a throne, found a shelter at Jaroslav's court yard. In christening Ingigerd received Irina's name, and after acceptance monastic custom - Annas (Ingigerd was the first princess in Russia who accepted an orthodox nunhood, that having set an example piety and belief).
It is known, that the most ancient church in Sigtuna was consecrated in the name of St Nikolay - the patron of seafarers. Sacred Nikolay's church unfortunately was not kept. The most surprising - this church was orthodox.
Sigtuna's history is full of riddles which wait for the decision … From the XIth century merchants from Novgorod constantly lived in the city, there were stone orthodox temples.
At Viby By you can see how agriculture used to be. The 19th century village (with different themes to the houses) still has a distinct centre unlike many Swedish villages who fell victims of an agricultural reformation by the Scot Rutger Mclean. Only a few kilometres outside Sigtuna, this is also a popular picnic spot. It has also been used as a movie location ("Rid inatt" and "Glasblåsarens barn" for those of you into Swedish movies).
One of the biggest royal burial mounds in the Lake Mälaren area and probably from around 400-550 B.C. You find it in Åshusby, east of Rosersberg (check www.sl.se for current nearest bus stop if you don't drive). The area around the mound is very scenic in a tranquil way.
Sigtuna was founded in the year 980 by King Erik Segersäll, making it Sweden's oldest town.
His burial place is in the Cathedral of Uppsala.